Adventures of a kayak angler
  |  First Published: May 2008

My little Hobie continues to be a revelation. What I got up to on a recent holiday on the south coast of NSW will give you an idea why I am so happy with ‘my yak’.

On the first morning I woke up at sparrows fluff and was keen to get out on my own and breathe in some fresh sea air while the rest of my family slept in.

I launched at a place known as Corrigans Beach at Batemans Bay and peddled out around Observation Point. Easterly winds and a solid swell were coming directly into the bay and as a result the water was quite murky.

I was looking out for bream around the shallow rocks using a 4” stickbait on a 4g jighead. I casted along the inside edge of Observation Point but in the murky water I couldn’t quite see the killer strike zone, where the shallow rock ledge meets the snag free sand, so I decided to go out around the point and rustle up a few salmon and tailor instead.

I fished from behind the breakers casting back into the wash. I lost a couple of softies to the tailors’ sharp teeth but a few nice 1.5kg specimens made it home for breakfast.

The tackle I was using was a Rapala Braid Concept 702 SPL rod, and a 40 sized Okuma Salina Reel with saltwater gears. I spooled up with 8lb braid, and used 12lb fluorocarbon leader. This sized outfit is ideal when fishing from a kayak and I use it on everything from bream to snapper and jews.

The next morning I launched at Corrigans again and peddled all the way across to Square Head, which took me approximately 20 minutes. The idea was to do a little fishing and at the same time burn up a few calories stacked up over Easter.

My little Hobie Sport has foot pedals (the Mirage Drive) and the standard paddle. I primarily use the foot pedals because they are more efficient and leave your hands free for fishing, but about halfway into the morning I pulled the paddle out to give my upper body a bit of a work out.

There is something magical about getting some light exercise while out on the water, and while sometimes I go hard at it, this time around I preferred to go easy and spend more time at it – a perfect combination when re-acquainting yourself with a fishing spot.

Again the water was still a bit murky, which suits tailor, and I managed to troll up a few tailor around the 40cm mark on the beach between Square Head and Maloneys Beach.

The next day the swell had reduced and the water had cleared up. It was time to get a little more serious, so my Hobie mate, Mike Nicholls, and I launched at South Durras and headed out around the nearby headlands and islands. Heaps of species came our way such as wrasse, red rock cod, leather jackets, slimy mackerel, and a lovely 2kg snapper – a real buzz on light tackle when fishing at water level.

We used the new 6” long Silstar Slapstix softie on a 7g jighead in 5-15m of water. The Slapstix has an extremely firm but flexible rubbery texture, possibly the best textured plastic on the market at the moment and I was pretty happy to be testing them out. The lure’s dense plastic meant that it withstood all the fish without even having the old pants pulled down, which is very useful when the fish are on the chew. The brilliant white colour did all the damage.

The large southern calamari in the area also went berserk over the lure, and one XL specimen wouldn’t leave it alone. Squid are nothing new to me, as I have been squid fishing for them since I was a kid, but this was a totally new experience at such close quarters. This squid went straight into the ice filled esky I keep behind my seat and it won me some good brownie points come dinnertime back at camp.

See you on the water. – Rob Paxevanos

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